I prefer things to be black and white.
Good or bad.
Right or wrong.
When there are choices to be made, life is much easier when common sense dictates the best course of action.
I believe I have a good sense of what to do in those situations. Sometimes I choose the wrong thing because of selfishness or fear or pleasure or impatience or a full moon.
But it tends to be me knowing something is wrong and doing it anyway. I can live with that.
Something is often black. Or white. And I can usually tell the difference.
Then there is all the stuff in between.
The gray area.
All Bottled Up
I am firmly entrenched in the gray area.
For several months, I was publishing a thousand words a day here. I almost never missed.
I always had something to say because I wasn’t afraid to write exactly what was happening and how I felt about it.
It mattered because other people got it. Other people have shitty, broken relationships and feel hopeless, too.
It’s important to know you’re not alone.
It’s important to see how other people deal with things so you can copy them when they get it right, and do the opposite when they don’t.
I felt a strong calling to do just that.
To do stuff. To feel. And write it all down.
To write mostly fearlessly. So what, I’m scared? So what, I was having trouble dating? So what, I don’t know what to do with my life?
My wife left and my life exploded into chaos that affected me emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially.
I was fucking pissed. You know, when I wasn’t crying or drinking. And I told you all about it.
And it felt good.
Because I’m so damn scared all the time. Here in my real life. In this body. When I can’t sleep at night. When I’m indulging in self-loathing. And doubt.
What am I doing? Why?
I’m trying so hard to determine what it is that really matters to me. And what doesn’t.
I’ve spent the past 13 years living for other people. Poorly, at times. But for other people.
And so much of that purpose went away when my family broke.
It’s just my son now.
What’s best for him?
Is it ultimately a well-balanced and happy father?
Is that the best gift I can give him?
What does that even look like?
I haven’t been able to write because I can’t write honestly without hurting or exposing people.
The truth affects my personal life in profound ways.
I’m dying to tell you.
All of it. Everything.
And not even for you. But for me. Because this is the best way I know how to work through things. To find myself hiding amidst all the shit and chaos swirling around inside me.
What matters most?
My personal, social, professional and spiritual life is at stake as I sort through the mess. Picking up the things I need to keep close to me. And tossing aside the things I need to protect myself from.
The Search for Black and White
I don’t have a preference. Things can just be whatever they are.
I just want to be able to see them. Identify them. Know what I’m dealing with. So I can move forward with confidence and choose the right path.
It doesn’t have to look safe.
It doesn’t have to look familiar.
It doesn’t have to look easy.
But they can’t all look the same.
Maybe there are clues.
Perhaps little things hidden among all the gray.
The universe tends to be constantly balancing both sides of the equals sign in our lives.
I was so sad and angry and broken a year ago.
And now I’m not.
Now I’m not really anything.
The opposite of sad is happy. I’m not that.
The opposite of angry is peaceful. I’m not that.
The opposite of broken is whole. And I’m not that either.
I’m somewhere in the middle. Somewhere in the gray area facing major decisions that have no obvious answers.
No blacks or whites or colors of any kind.
What Do I Know?
I know finding spiritual peace, emotional balance, overall good physical and financial health and social connectivity would seem to be the obvious pillars on which to rebuild the foundation of my life.
So with every choice, I need to ask myself what moves me closer to those things.
I read something from my favorite writer James Altucher yesterday.
Sometimes you read or hear things that speak to your soul. That make you feel like the words were meant just for you. Altucher often does that for me.
And I think I’m going to take his advice on this one.
“At every fork in the road you have a choice. This is what I try to do now: I ask, ‘which choice makes me feel better?’
“Then I don’t think about it. Thoughts are too biased by evolution, society, our past, our neuroses. My only job is to ask the question.
“Then I take a breath. Maybe more. What’s my heart say? What’s my stomach say? Eventually, if I’m healthy in other ways, my body will tell me the answer. (maybe this sounds corny, but it’s what I do)…
“Choose the path at the fork where your heart goes on fire. Go down that path.
“Don’t look back.”
We’ll try it your way.